The RAC has joined forces with the THINK! team and animators Aardman to launch a national road safety competition, which challenges children to create short animated films to communicate road safety messages to fellow pupils.
The competition is fronted by a new canine road safety mascot named Horace, created by Aardman Animations who are best known for the Wallace and Gromit series.
Every primary, junior and secondary school in Great Britain will be encouraged to participate in the competition which is open to pupils aged four to 16 years – as well as clubs, Scouts, Brownies and other groups.
First prize in each age category is £1,000 for the winning school and there are three runners-up prizes of an Aardman model-making workshop. The first 10,000 entries will receive a RAC road safety kit.
Pete Williams, RAC head of external affairs, said: “The key to getting children to really understand road safety is to build initiatives around them – so that’s what we’ve done with this competition.
“Children are best placed to identify road safety messages which have real ‘cut-through’ with their peers, and animation is an engaging way of bringing these messages to life.
“Our campaign is designed to fit with the THINK! website and resource packs which have a wealth of information children can use to create and inspire their animations.”
Robert Goodwill, road safety minister, said: “The THINK! campaign welcomes this ground-breaking initiative which will jump-start a new approach to road safety training and awareness in schools.
“We are delighted with the new road safety mascot created by Aardman’s famous model-makers and will be incorporating it into our teaching resource packs.
“We very much look forward to using some of the winning entries to illustrate the road safety messages that children feel are important.”
Entry is via the RAC child road safety website and the closing date for entries is Friday 4 July. Horace also has his own Facebook page ‘Horace Champion’ and can be followed on Twitter @HoraceChampion
Road safety officers can obtain more information about the competition from the THINK! team’s Dimple Shah.
Today (11 March) also sees the launch of the ‘RAC Charitable Trust’ which will receive a cash injection of £250k from the RAC. The new Trust will raise funds through a variety of activities and campaigns to support the RAC child road safety campaign and future road safety initiatives.